Saturday, 29 March 2008

Computer, Cold, and Classroom!

Well, it didn't help that I came down with a rotten cold at the same time my computer crashed. And then I had challenges with the classroom!

Many of the teachers had suffered from a cold, and despite all my antiseptic hand wiping, avoiding as much as possible those with the affliction, I ended up with a terrible sore throat and cough. If I spoke with my raspy voice, I coughed! Not easy to teach when cannot speak.

So I used my copy of "King Arthur" to "amuse" the students while I recovered. But the classroom could not be darkened enough and the screen was difficult to see. It is a movie with a lot of dark scenes anyway, so in the end I was embarrassed by it. On a good day I could get English dialogue and English subtitles (actually for the hard of hearing but it worked in the context of English lessons), but on one day the computer would stop and start and I who had seen the movie more than once knew that the movie was jumping all over the place and the story was impossible to follow. I am not sure that my students followed it anyway, it was so hard to see.

At times the dialogue would change into Chinese! Adding much mirth to the class.

As well, I had asked for the classroom to be "cleaned" - I was assured that it was - but as I watched the movie for the third and fourth time, I did some cleaning myself and found that the black splodges all over the floor actually disappeared with a wet mop. Was it my task to do it all? I complained again, and still was told that the room was cleaned.

Meanwhile back at the apartment I struggled with the laptop that refused to do anything. Despite having Norton Antivirus, I suspect I have a virus which is not being picked up. All efforts to use the computer were fruitless, so I was not happy at all.

Meanwhile I have been offered another classroom - I insisted on inspecting it first - and I have refused to use it. It is slightly darker, with an a/v system that is so damaged I'd need a weeks lessons to learn how to drive it, and the classroom is dirtier than my original. I can't see any point in moving.

I gave up on the movie, but Friday's students had heard about the movie, so didn't bring any books, and were disappointed that I refused to show it. In any case only about 25% of students bothered to watch it - the rest slept through it. So I'm not having great success! Very frustrating.

Meanwhile, Saturday has come and for the fourth weekend in a row it is raining. I'm feeling better, and surprisingly so is the computer though it is far from fixed.

And the classroom - oh, I'll worry about that on Monday.

1 comment:

deedub said...

It sounds as if you had a rough week! All these frustrations are but the tapestry of China. The secret, of course, is to fin d the opportunities out of the challenges!

We're cold here, too, in Jinan. 3-10 degrees last Saturday. The central heating did not come on. I have since found out it is not the "concierge's" decision, nor the university's decision, but after March 23 no more central heating is available for anyone (?) in the region. Despite it being near freezing!